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Industry Analyst, Consultant and author, former programmer, systems analyst with 25 years experience. Spent three years in Europe as an industry analyst and as Correspondent for Information Week and other industry publications. Regularly consults with leading public and private enterprise software, database, and infrastructure companies. An award-winning columnist for leading IT and business magazines, Josh is widely quoted in the trade and business press and he blogs at Enterprise Matters.

6 responses to “The King is Dead, Long Live the King: The end of ERP and the birth of the Hybrid Enterprise”

  1. Aditya

    Great article on ERP and the Future of the ERP.The ERP is not dying as many are predicting but evolving and migrating to the cloud.Tapping into the cloud to roll out ERP/CRM and other solutions is an approach that is bound to be a success .ERP solutions on the cloud will increase scalability and efficiency, clouds are also ubiquitous thus enabling global accessibility.The future of ERP is most certainly bright and on the cloud.Just read an informative whitepaper, Choosing the right ERP solaution for your organization @

  2. David Turner

    From our experience at UNIT4, you’re right in thinking a ‘one-size-fits-all’ cloud offering will not wash with all customers, many of whom may be used to sophisticated, highly configurable on-premise systems. But at the same time, we agree that the old ERP model was designed for manufacturing businesses, as you point out. New approaches to ERP have already moved it in favour of the services-centric organisation. Flexible systems that change as the business changes without code-level programming and intimidating upgrades can provide these organisations with the independence they need while providing flexible delivery options, be that cloud, on-premise or a combination.

    The stories of legacy-ERP implementation failures are frightening, and a move towards services-centric, subscription-based ERP is inevitable. ERP will continue but I think we can agree that the tide is turning away from legacy vendors to those providing more agile, change-friendly solutions.

  3. Chris Boorman

    An excellent article that I enjoyed reading. I totally agree with the commentary about the emergence of the Hybrid organization – in which data in now being dis-aggregated across the cloud.
    Indeed Enteprises today are facing one of the most profound changes in IT through which the very essence of the “Where”, “What” and “How” of computing is changing. The “Where” is moving to the cloud creating the hybrid world you talk about. The “What” is moving from traditional ERP-style transactions to embracing the new world of interaction data such as social and machine generated data, while the “How” is moving from the desktop to mobility. These are all changing the IT landscape, and are connected by the need for gaining business value from all the data.
    So while I agree with the commentary about the need for ERP (it will never go away), I think enterprises are now battling for a new world in which the key focus is moving to control of the data – wherever it resides and in whatever form it takes. Understanding the data and ensuring that it is used for the purposes of driving growth is the true challenge facing the new enterprise. ERP applications have served, and continue to serve, a critical purpose. However, the bigger issue is how to overcome the silo’d fragmentation of data within them to maximise the return on data to drive critical business imperatives. Now THAT is the challenge for the 21st century!

  4. Why ERP is Alive and How it Can Get Well – Forbes |

    […] Enterprise Irregulars […]

  5. Simon Griffiths

    Thanks for a well thought-through analysis of the ‘End of ERP’ article. Your comment that cloud software will actually add value data to existing ERP, and the analogy of the good house in a good neighborhood, is right on the mark.
    However, your statement that ERP is for “old-style 20th century manufacturing” neglects the large number of companies doing just that. No only is President Obama calling for (old style) manufacturing to be re-established in the US, but a study by the University of Strathclyde in the Scotland reports that there are 2.5 million manufacturing SMEs in Europe. “Old-style 20th century manufacturing” isn’t going away.
    As a major independent ERP vendor, SYSPRO has thousands of customers around the world in that space, and adding more every week. What has changed is that 21st manufacturers are now leaner and more customer and data driven, making ERP systems even more important.
    No doubt the size of the SaaS ERP market will grow, but it won’t take over the world, rather businesses will have a choice. Organizations will need to understand the total cost of ownership between cloud and on-premise ERP – after four or five years, on-premise software is more cost effective that cloud. They will also need to balance the risks of cloud vs on-premise – as recent outages at Windows Azure and Amazon have pointed out, relying too much on software in the cloud has its problems.

  6. Brett Beaubouef

    With cloud computing and cloud ERP gaining additional attention in the marketplace, ERP vendors, resellers, and solution providers are quickly positioning their products and services as “cloud-enabled”. However, in my humble opinion, to simply put ERP software on a hosted server and provide subscription-based pricing does not a cloud solution make. A key value proposition for cloud ERP is the ability to support a truly hybrid ERP deployment. In the next section we will discuss what is an ERP hybrid deployment including the opportunities and challenges this type of deployment presents.